Paperless problems with credit card receipts

As part of my paperless drive I scan and destroy all my credit card and till receipts. Today I had an item to return to my local DIY store so searched and found (thank you Alfred) the receipt PDF, printed it out on A4 paper and went back for a refund.

The retailer, B&Q, have very distinctive orange backed receipts and it was very obvious that mine was not an original (see photo). I was told by the store staff that unless I had the original copy no refund could be given. I argued that my scan and reprint was legally valid but to no avail.

Eventually, after much debate, and because it was a low value (£7) item, as a “gesture of goodwill” they gave me a credit against more purchases.

I wonder how many people who are trying to turn their life ‘paperless’ have had similar problems. Was I right that a scanned and reprinted copy is legally valid?

Some have said that scanning receipts seems like too much effort but with a combination of a ScanSnap scanner and Hazel I have got a good workflow up and running.

Each week I empty my wallet out and run everything through the scanner on a ‘credit card receipt’ profile. This scans only one side, OCR’s and files as a PDF in a specific folder. Hazel picks it up, reads the date, renames the file and moves it to an archive.

This works very well and I can search the receipts out using Spotlight or Alfred, usually easily finding the one I need out of thousands.

I hope that retailers start to recognise that over time they will need to rely on electronically stored records and get used to customers making returns with non-original copies of their receipts.

Notes forever on any platform

I am a prolific user of Evernote, the cloud based note taking service. For those who are not familiar with the product, it is a cloud based virtual ‘notebook’ which is available on all popular platforms. With the capability to hold text, graphics, sound and other documents there is not much you can’t put into a note.


I have the Evernote client installed on my Mac computers, iPad and iPhone. I also use the web based version when I am working away on a PC. The ability to sync instantly between the various clients is so useful, meaning that you can start a note on the mobile and then finish it at home when at the desktop.

PDF’s and Paperless

Evernote enables you to insert a PDF into a note which it then OCS’s and indexes. This means that the search is very powerful and makes it virtually impossible to lose your information. The whole set up provides an excellent platform for going paperless.

An account is free to set up and a ‘pro’ option is available which provides more features and a higher upload limit.  See the Evernote web site to download and try for free.